Sometimes your life can completely change in the blink of an eye.
On Monday April 22, my husband and I were watching the pictures from my daughter's trip to Europe. The next minute, he was having a seizure. He had another one at the emergency room, and two more after he was transferred to ICU.
It's now a little over a week later. He is recovering and out of ICU. He is looking forward to coming home. He's one of the lucky ones.
I'm one of the lucky ones as well. Our church is feeding us, and the neighbors are helping me out. My friends have helped me clear my schedule, walked me through paperwork, and reminded me to eat.
The challenge to myself was to craft and implement an early-morning routine. This was created because I wanted to have consistent time to read non-fiction, write, and do some basic self-care activities like journaling and stretching every morning.
While I had some challenges in working with my natural rhythms, I accomplished much more than I expected and gained a sense of satisfaction of important tasks done, even on the busiest of days.
Whether you call it delegation, outsourcing or automation, turning tasks over to other people or things can get you hours back. Today's episode looks at things you might not have considered outsourcing, and how to tell if it is a good idea to outsource a task.
Bullet journaling, at its core, is a simple system with no frills. Simple text notations; no fancy graphics or headers. However, one quick search on Pinterest will show you hundreds of fantastic expansions - and complications - of the original system. It's always put me off, because I have trouble drawing a straight line with a ruler. It put me off so much that I never really gave the simple system at its core a try.
For the past two years I have tried to plan on my iPad. I bought a PDF planner and used that as a basis, adding in a formatted page for each day. But the system wasn't working for me, and I experienced planner blindness. Planner blindness is a fancy way of saying I started ignoring the planner. So after setting up a system (again, that didn't work for me) for 2019 and spending a lot of time in prep, I abruptly abandoned it on Jan 2 for a paper bullet journal.
If you are a regular reader to the blog, you know that I used bullet journaling as my first 30 day challenge (see here and here). Today I present my bullet journal setup.
To people who are night owls either by nature or circumstance, getting up to do a productive morning routine can seem impossible. But it's possible to claim this quiet and uninterrupted time for yourself.
I am biologically wired to do better at night. I catch a second wind at about 9 pm, and then I am off to the races, mentally alert and ready to flex my creative muscles. If I give in to it, I will work until 1 or 2 am, at which point I force myself to go to bed because I know the consequences rather than because I'm tired.
I don't allow this to happen often. After all, I am employed outside the home, and I adhere to my employer's and client's expectations that I will be in the office during business hours. Taking advantage of that second wind means that I am groggy, cranky and unproductive on the work site.
A good friend of mine is a musician and is forced to be a night owl. He often doesn't get done with his paying job until 10, and then has to unwind before he can even consider going to bed.
So whether you are a night owl by choice or circumstance, you can still do an early routine.
A system of record is the single place you check to get information. This episode looks at identifying systems of record for the basic components of a productivity system: calendar, email, task management and notes.
Our 30 day challenge this month is to rise early. But rising before the dawn doesn't net you anything if you don't put that uninterrupted time to use. And even if you aren't doing the challenge, you can still craft a productive morning routine that helps set the tone for the day.
I've worked on and off with early rising and morning routines for years. But as a night owl, it is hard for me to function in the morning. Even as I write this, I am fighting the impulse to go back to bed and get another hour's sleep. But I know that if I do cave, I will miss the satisfaction of getting important things done before I face the rest of my day. So here's how you can craft a meaningful morning routine.
Welcome to the second of the 30 day challenges. By doing 30 day challenges, I explore a topic that I feel will make my life more deliberate and productive. This month I will be looking at rising earlier.
My schedule is such that I feel busy all the time. I don't feel like have uninterrupted time. I get up, go to work, and then when I get home I am bombarded with household tasks, exercising, and various evening commitments, not least of which is time with my family. I felt like I never had time to work on projects that were important to me. Non-fiction reading, fiction writing, blogging and crafting are wedged into the odd fifteen minutes I can find.
I feel that working on an early-rising routine will help me carve out the time I need to make progress on activities I want to have in my life.